Tips for Talking to Children

CLICK HERE to view the Quick Reference Guide for starting and continuing protective conversations with your children

Step 3 of the 5 Steps to Protecting Our Childen encourages parents and caregivers to "Talk About It." Children often keep abuse a secret. By teaching children about their bodies and talking openly about our bodies, sexuality, and boundaries, a child will be more equipped to tell you if something is making them uncomfortable.

Talk to your child about the difference between a secret and a surprise and help them understand that if someone tells them to keep a secret, they should tell you. "It's our secret..." is one of the ways a perpetrator can manipulate a child.

Teaching Children About Their Bodies

One of the best things you can do to protect your child is to empower them by teaching them about their bodies. There are an abundance of programs and books available to help you with this. Here are some of our favorites: 

GIRLOLOGY OFFERS A FRESH, unique approach: a forum for exploring questions and issues about sexual development and maturity in a fun, engaging and cringe-free way. Learn more at

Additional Book Suggestions on

A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK Review Notable Book of the Year, It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley. Two other titles by the same authors are geared for younger children, It's Not the Stork! A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends and It's So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families. Find these books at

Talking About Boundaries

We teach children to be safe and look both ways when they cross the street. We also need to teach them how to keep their bodies safe. Help your child understand body boundaries by creating "rules" for your bodies:

  • No one can touch your private parts, those are yours
  • It's not ok for someone to show you their private parts
  • It's ok to tell someone NO if they want to touch you, even if they are a grown up
  • There are no secrets about our bodies, you can tell me anything!
More Tips on Talking to Kids